South Dakota bar owner charged with raping 3 girls

AP News
Posted: Nov 28, 2011 6:59 PM
South Dakota bar owner charged with raping 3 girls

A bar owner already charged with raping three girls, including a 12-year-old, after plying them with drinks last month, faces fresh charges, after police said they found 11 minors at the bar during a weekend compliance check.

Werner Fajardo, of Sioux Falls, had been out on $10,000 bond on the rape charges that were filed earlier this month. Police then arrested him Saturday night following a check on his bar in Huron, a town about 120 miles northwest of Sioux Falls. During a brief court hearing Monday on the new charges, furnishing alcohol to minors and maintaining an alcohol nuisance, Circuit Judge Jon R. Erickson of Huron set a new bond of $150,000.

Fajardo, 34, hasn't entered pleas to any of the charges he faces, and he hasn't publicly addressed the allegations. Fajardo was not accompanied by a lawyer at Monday's hearing, and he asked the judge to appoint one for him at county expense. The judge will rule on that request later.

Fajardo's next court hearing is set for Dec. 14.

There were no publicly listed phone numbers in Huron or Sioux Falls for Fajardo or his business, El Cuervo Bar.

Michael R. Moore, Beadle County's state's attorney, said Fajardo apparently knew the three girls, a 12-year-old and two 14-year-olds.

In an affidavit that accompanied the Nov. 18 criminal complaint filed in the rape case, police said Fajardo drove the girls to his bar in the early morning hours of Oct. 30.

"The bar was closed, but the defendant started mixing drinks for the girls," police said.

The girls told an officer they passed out or became incapacitated and felt as if they could not move. One girl said Fajardo touched her inappropriately. A second reported waking up with pain that led her to believe she had been raped. The third said she remembers Fajardo having sex with her.

Moore said one of the girls reported the alleged rapes on Nov. 11, and the girls were then examined by Child's Voice, a Sioux Falls organization that conducts examinations and interviews of children in such cases. No testing could be done to determine if the girls had been drugged because too much time had passed since the alleged attacks, he said.

Fajardo is charged with first-degree rape for the alleged attack on the younger girl, and two counts of third-degree rape for the alleged attacks on the 14-year-old girls. If convicted of first-degree rape, he could be sentenced to up to life in prison.

He also faces lesser charges, including furnishing alcohol to those younger than 18, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and serving alcohol after hours.